OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 02: Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners hits a fielder's choice in the ninth inning against the Oakland Athletics during a Major League Baseball game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on April 2, 2011 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
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Saturday night was good to the Seattle Mariners in so many ways. In a back-and-forth game, the Mariners rallied with three runs in the ninth to stay perfect on the season with a 5-2 win over the Oakland Athletics after nearly coughing up the game in the eight inning. As an added bonus, Ichiro passed Edgar Martinez on the Mariners' all-time hits list with his ninth inning RBI single to put the Mariners in front, 3-2.
Ichiro came into the game needing one hit to tie and two to pass Martinez's mark of 2,247 hits in a Mariners uniform. And on the 10-year anniversary of his major league debut, Ichiro took care of business in the most Ichiro way possible. In the top of the third, Ichiro tied the mark in his second at bat with an infield single, a staple in his repertoire. In the ninth, Ichiro did it again, driving in Jack Wilson with a slap-hit to the right side of the infield. Daric Barton came up with the ball, but Ichiro beat everyone to the bag at first, recording his 2,248th hit in a Mariners' uniform to break Martinez's mark.
The Mariners fell behind again on Saturday as David DeJesus plated Cliff Pennington with a ground-out to put the A's in front, 1-0. But Seattle came back again, evening the score in the 6th as Jack Cust drove in Milton Bradley with a single to center. Bradley reached base on a single before stealing second to put himself in scoring position.
With runners on the corners in the 7th, Michael Saunders lifted a ball to center, allowing Brendan Ryan to score from third on the sacrifice fly to put the Mariners in front, 2-1. But it all came crashing down in the 8th as Chris Ray came on in relief and struggled early. After back-to-back singles, Josh Willingham managed a one out single to drive in Coco Crisp, knotting the score at two before Ray got out of the inning.
The dam broke in the ninth as Ichiro gave the Mariners the lead and Brian Fuentes melted down. With runners on the corners after Ichiro's infield single, Fuentes sent a pitch to the backstop and Miguel Olivo trotted home to add insurance and put the Mariners up 4-2. Seattle tacked on one more on Chone Figgins' sacrifice fly plated Ichiro.
Brandon League came on in the ninth to slam the door, giving the Mariners the 5-2 win. Seattle moved to 2-0 early in the season with the win and will go for the sweep on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. Doug Fister takes the hill for the Mariners, with Gio Gonzalez on the bump for Oakland.